Here’s what I know about the bizarre turn of events for the Russound-owned Colorado vNet brand. Last week a Colorado vNet customer leaked a confidential dealer memo from Russound CEO Charlie Porritt that announced the return of Colorado vNet. Now the company is scrambling to pick up the pieces and make all of this make sense with “an official statement.”
Until the company’s media call at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, we’re left to speculate on the nature of the seemingly questionable decision, with only the leaked letter for reference. In the letter, Porritt tells dealers that the response from vNet dealers after the company’s announcement in late December 2010 that it would shut down the brand was such a lovefest for the automation and lighting control brand, that Russound was convinced to bring it back.
Until the official announcement tomorrow, we’re all left to ponder why the company would fail to survey its dealers before shuttering vNet, instead of the way it actually handled the situation. I can’t believe it’s all as simple as that, however. There were reports of litigation involving unfulfilled financial obligations between Russound and the Colorado town in which vNet was located, or it’s possible that Russound was looking to shed some overhead before the years end (there was a strange sense of urgency to their announcement, which occurred when most of us were taking a holiday vacation between Christmas and New Years.)
Whatever the real answer is, it comes across as a big sloppy mess. How does a brand that already annoyed at least one overseas distributor for its lack of response during the vNet closure bounce back from another communication breakdown and seemingly half-baked decision?
Times are tough for everyone, but it looks like Russound is making things tougher than they need to be.